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Old 31st August 2012, 12:20 AM   #7021
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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gootee,
After months of learning the most basics about amps and driver interaction, great help from this forums posters, what I was able to determine was the profile of distortion distribution as it is effected by the method of compensation was the "unmeasurable" and unknown masking factor that my wife is so sensitive to. Real topology difference, real measurement difference that matches what she hears. Now what she hears seems to be just plain distortion from the tweeters and with much better speakers, the much better amps ( thanks John) sound much better than the lousy speakers masked by the previous favorite amp. The state of the art may not be advanced, but for me, the understanding of the start of the art is advanced. Amps sound different and now I know one of the reasons.
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Old 31st August 2012, 01:08 AM   #7022
fas42 is online now fas42  Australia
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Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Now what she hears seems to be just plain distortion from the tweeters and with much better speakers, the much better amps ( thanks John) sound much better than the lousy speakers masked by the previous favorite amp. The state of the art may not be advanced, but for me, the understanding of the start of the art is advanced. Amps sound different and now I know one of the reasons.
Audible distortion from the tweeters is the key, but it's not the driver's fault, typically. How does one know when there is this type of distortion? Very easily, because you can "hear" the tweeter working, it's easy to pinpoint the sound coming from the driver. And as you move closer and closer to the typical tweeter in full cry it gets worse and worse, the sound from a tweeter with a "difficult" recording is stomach churning, close up. And this tells you everything -- the system is not working properly, normally because of the combined effect of all the weaknesses throughout the whole playback chain ...

Frank
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:24 AM   #7023
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Audible distortion from the tweeters is the key, but it's not the driver's fault, typically. How does one know when there is this type of distortion? Very easily, because you can "hear" the tweeter working, it's easy to pinpoint the sound coming from the driver. And as you move closer and closer to the typical tweeter in full cry it gets worse and worse, the sound from a tweeter with a "difficult" recording is stomach churning, close up. And this tells you everything -- the system is not working properly, normally because of the combined effect of all the weaknesses throughout the whole playback chain ...

Frank
This really happens in real life a lot, does it? I honestly don't know, although I've heard it myself even with supposedly good expensive systems.

Of the 4 loudspeaker pairs I have at home, only the cheapest 2 way can sometimes have its tweeter heard playing not in unison with the mid/bass driver. I've always forgiven them for it, they are the spare pair there just in case, and besides, one does not look the gift horse in the mouth.

But none of the other speakers (AR94 fully refurbished, JBL Ti600 and B&M 1041) has any problems with that. The ARs are the world's first "2.5" way speakers, the others are full 3 way speakers.

Especially the 1041, my pride and joy, is exceedingly well integrated, it truly acts as a single signal source despite three drivers (10" bass, 4" midrange, 1" dome tweeter). My only regret is that at the time (2003), Son Audax did not have an equivalent 12" bass in the same high tech series of low frequency drivers.
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Old 31st August 2012, 11:07 AM   #7024
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It was said in the 1950's a damping factor > 3 was useful . Speaker suspensions were stiffer then .

Like the Earth being flat assumptions have to be tested . The Earth is flat to a good approximation . Sometimes it is not . What cost to find out . I would guess 9 times out of 10 the flat answer is good enough . The speakers made today generally use these assumptions ( constant voltage source , high damping ) .

One thing to remember the damping is false . It is generated by feedback . If it is relaxed a little it might find a sweet spot where it works best . I know that will annoy many to have it as false and I apologies in advance .
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Old 31st August 2012, 12:31 PM   #7025
fas42 is online now fas42  Australia
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This really happens in real life a lot, does it? I honestly don't know, although I've heard it myself even with supposedly good expensive systems.
In my own experience this quality, or lack of it, is a function of the system as a whole; a better sorted out speaker will certainly help in a particular scenario, that of a particular combination of components.

This reducing the visibility of the tweeter is part of a process towards the ultimate goal: complete audible invisibility of the speakers in every sense, as being the sources of the sound, irrespective of where you, the listener, happen to be in the room. Only the absolute minimisation of distortion, with conventional speakers at least, allows this to happen ...

Frank
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Old 31st August 2012, 07:39 PM   #7026
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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I have explained several times in this thread. I am relying on my wife's ultra sensitive hearing. The distortion causes actual pain. I think I hear an edge on some recordings, but not enough to be sure myself. I hear a clear difference in some guitar recordings where the strings sound metallic, not nylon, and the applause on the opening of Clapton Unpluged is worse that it really is.

Speakers are bar far the worst part of the overall system. Where I thought I was at a price level where they should start to be pretty good, I was wrong. What I thought were short-comings of amps, CD players or DAC's were actually their level of masking speaker problems. The cheapest Denon receiver is better than any speaker I have ever heard. Not that better electronics are not, well better.

I think a lot has been said in this thread about the need to match electronics to a speaker and that in this day and age, that means a very bad design on at least one of the parts, if not both. Where my Rotel 951 sounded better on the Paradigms than my B&K or Parasound, the problem was with the Paradigms. With my speakers, the Parasound has much better detail and low level definition that the Rotel. I had already sold the B&K so who knows. The limitations of the Rotel, a design choice, did not reveal the defects in the Studio 20's. Good match? No, bad speakers.

The first pair of speakers I have built that pass the domestic distortion test would be in the $3000 and up retail range if they were a commercial product. That's a hint son.

Oh yea, it IS the drivers fault. Of course, you can misuse a driver and make a good driver bad and a bad driver terrible. You are never going to get a driver to be better than it is.
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Old 31st August 2012, 07:47 PM   #7027
tsiros is offline tsiros  Greece
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tvrgeek View Post
Speakers are bar far the worst part of the overall system. (...) The cheapest Denon receiver is better than any speaker I have ever heard.
that's what i've been saying for ever, so seeing someone else saying the same is somewhat exhilarating for me. thank you.
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:22 PM   #7028
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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that's what i've been saying for ever, so seeing someone else saying the same is somewhat exhilarating for me. thank you.
Why didn't you just ask what we think?

Ever since the quality of my speakers overtook the rest of the system in the very early days of 1972, I realized that was so as I built my system and by 1976 it was clear to me that the speakers were by default suspected as the worst part of the system. No, let me rephrase that, as the most difficult part of the system to get right.

Which is why I pushed my good friend into developing the speakers I have now, in reality he did the brainwork like 95%, because speakers were his trade and great love in life. In the course of the work, we tried hard to eliminate if possible, or at least to minimize if not possible to eliminate, all the usual problems associated with speakers. As an example, the impedance modulus, on a nominally 8 Ohm speaker, varies from 6,5 to 14 Ohms worst case, which is VERY uncommonly even. With a minimum of 6,5 Ohms, virtually anything can drive them no problemo, even the junkiest of Technics amps.

It was really hard work, and took its sweet time, but in my view, it was well worth it.

On the other hand, another good friend swears by his Apogees, and if there ever was an amp killer, those must be the hit squad speakers.

Anyway, I agree with you, the loudspeakers are the most difiicult part of any system.


@Frank

Comletely agreed, Frank. It seems I have been more fortunate than many others to have hit on models which happen to well integrated, certainly above average. Hence, while I recognioze the merits of your reasoning, this is a problem for others to mull over. I am happy with my speakers.


@Nigel

Not to belabor the point, but if memory serves, somebody in the very early 70ies worked out that with a damping factor of 10 what the amp could do with the speaker Q factor was done, and increasing the DF thereafter had little or no effect on the loudspeakers any more, BUT was indicative of the possible amp current capability.

Years later, they discovered that a high DF factor was often an indication of high global feedback figures and was a very poor indicator of an amp's current capability.

I don't know what the current thinking is.
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Old 31st August 2012, 08:24 PM   #7029
dvv is offline dvv  Serbia
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... You are never going to get a driver to be better than it is.
Just like people, huh?

But seriously, I agree.
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Old 31st August 2012, 11:54 PM   #7030
tvrgeek is offline tvrgeek  United States
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Well, I have has some success MODIFYING some drivers with a doping compound. If a little dope is good for an aluminum dust cap... well I had better stop there.

I suspect part of the problem is the normal human tendency to want to believe the next wonder product, be it cable stands or an actual great piece of electronics, they are all cheaper than great speakers. Will that $2000 amp be enough to make my $1000 speakers fantastic because I know better speakers cost five grand? Tempting. Wrong but tempting.
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